What do you do if you’re an aspiring lounge singer in the 70’s, who accidentally witnesses her gangster boyfriend murder someone? How do you stay safe? And more importantly, where do you go that can possibly contain all of your fabulousness? Luckily, the fun and funny SISTER ACT now playing at San Diego Musical Theatre through May 26th is just the show to answer these questions.
The obvious answer is to go to a convent and put on the best sister act you can (caveat, obvious to anyone who may be named Deloris Van Cartier or who has seen the movie musical of the same name.)
Miriam Dancer takes on the infamous role of the outrageous but talented Deloris – a role made famous by Whoopi Goldberg in the movie and Patina Miller in the original Broadway cast of the same name. Those are some big shoes (more like really sparkly boots) to fill and Dancer is fantastic as the singer, and performer who shakes up the convent that is trying to keep her safe.
Sandy Campbell brings a counterpoint as the Mother Superior who is trying her best to keep not let Deloris under control, while the other sisters in the convent succumb to the siren song of showbiz, and sequins, albeit in church choir form.
The ensemble performances, their singing and harmonies are all first rate. Standouts include Bethany Slomka as everyone’s favorite cheerful nun Sister Mary Patrick, and Sarah Errington as the timid but vocally bold Sister Mary Robert. Jeremy Whatley as Eddie, the cop who is trying to keep Deloris safe (and maybe steal her heart) has an audience favorite moment with his song “I Could Be That Guy.”
Berto Fernandez as the dangerous ex-boyfriend Curtis may want to kill her, but he’s a bad guy with a lot of charm and some sweet dance moves. He leads an equally charming, if deadly gang of talented and funny gangsters including Donny Gersonde, Gerardo Flores Tonella and E.Y. Washington.
Choreography by Luke Harvey is creative and fun and uses the stage of the Horton Grand to put on a fantastic show with a 70’s flair. Musical Direction by Don LeMaster is great as always, and makes the most of the original songs in the score composed by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater. The fun score has some standout numbers including the high energy “Take Me To Heaven”, and “Fabulous, Baby!” which fit the show so perfectly you won’t miss the songs from the movie.
Nuns wearing sequins while singing in church? A sweet Cop who has smooth dance moves but no smooth relationship moves? Gangsters who are funny and dance (and kill people)? Who knew that going to a convent could be this much fun?
SISTER ACT by San Diego Musical Theatre is playing at the Horton Grand Theatre through May 26th. For showtime and ticket information go to www.sdmt.org